Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz is quoted in news report in the Deutsche Welle (DW), the German international broadcaster, about foreign election observers in forthcoming national elections in Bangladesh.

The European Union has decided not to send any observers for monitoring the election which is scheduled on December 30. Riaz quoted as saying that the EU’s decision is worrying.

“As several MEPs on November 15 quite aptly described the forthcoming election as ‘the country’s last chance to determine the course of its democracy and the rule of law,’ the EU should revisit its decision and act immediately,” Riaz said.

Budgetary constraints have been cited as the reasons for EY decision. “Budgetary constraints should not supersede the EU’s commitment to human rights, good governance, and democracy,” he said.

Riaz underscored the need for foreign observers in Bangladeshi election.

“Foreign observers’ presence has an enormous impact on the election commission, particularly on the field-level election officials,” he said. “It also influences the behavior of the supporters of the candidates. It creates a mechanism of accountability and provides confidence among the voters.”